Recently, two groups on campus have taken up the task of creating a culture of renewal at CCU.

While they are two separate entities, the CCU Go Green Initiative (GGI) and the new garden built by the England service learning team, are linked by this common goal.

GGI, led by Freshman Zoe Smith, is a student organization working to improve CCU’s education, attitude, and the accessibility to environmentally-friendly choices.

Beginning just one month ago, GGI has already sparked changes around campus.

GGI’s first action was to post signs on paper towel dispensers around campus reminding not to waste paper. Smith said they also plan to get new recycling bins and arrange events to educate students about recycling and sustainable living.

Professor Dave Farris, department chair for the School of Business, is faculty advisor to the Go Green Initiative. Farris has a long-held passion for renewing the things (and people) who are typically deemed “disposable.”

Farris and the 2017 England service learning team he led were inspired after working in a garden in front of a prison visitor’s center in Birmingham, England. The garden was constructed by Dr. Sam Ewell, a missionary working with Christian Missionary Fellowship.

On Community Service Day, a group of about 40 faculty, staff, and students worked together to build a similar garden at CCU, beside Parking Lot 2.

Like the garden in Birmingham, nearly all the materials used would have been thrown away. Many of these materials were collected on campus.

For one year, the garden will lie unplanted while the compost elements break down, after which Farris will plant flowers.

“This garden serves two purposes,” Farris wrote in a post on his blog, daf words. “The first is to finally make that connection between something that we learned in Birmingham and brought home with us. The second is to give ourselves a constant reminder of what it looks like to reincorporate people and things back into the world.”

Smith has agreed to construct a found-object art installation which will act as both a sign and a unique scarecrow for the garden.

“From start to finish, it’s a really hope-filled thing for me,” said Farris.

Farris, Smith, and GGI have many more ideas to build a culture of renewal at CCU.

“We’re just starting something. We’re really hoping this will be a long-term thing that sticks around at CCU and the community, to engage God’s creation,” said Smith.




Last week CCU Seniors Sam Baker, Makenna Granger, Sarah Stacy, Sophomore Rachel Menzel and a few others had the opportunity to work with University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Mount St. Joseph University, and Northern Kentucky University in a team competition to try to solve problems for some Price Hill businesses with in an event called University Brainsteer Slam.

As a member of the winning team, Menzel will receive $1000.

Sponsored by the Incline Incubator, an organization that helps start new businesses and create jobs in Price Hill, the first-time event was planned and coordinated by CCU’s Entrepreneurial Marketing class.

“The event was put together as a collaboration between the universities but primarily driven by the Incline Incubator and the CCU Entrepreneurial Marketing class,” CCU’s School of Business and Department Chair Professor Dave Farris explained.

Teams of six students mixed across the universities worked Friday night and all day Saturday to research and present a plan solving a challenge outlined by one of the participating businesses.

Local Price Hill businesses — BLOC Coffee House, Primavista Restaurant and Henke Winery — were the three businesses who presented problems for the students to solve.

Each business chose a winning solution to the problem that they had presented. Then the competition continued to declare one student team overall winners.

The winners will get to see their plan implemented into the business in addition to splitting a $6,000 prize.

“Something really nice was that our names got put out there for other businesses. People who are looking for hires have seen our names and it brings attention to the university,” said Menzel, whose team won the prize.

Granger said she would “do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

She added, “Brainsteer was a weekend long event that was one of the most stressful yet rewarding school events I have ever done. “Being the only undergrad in the group it was amazing to be able to work on a business problem with MBA students who work with problems like these all the time in the real world.”

Organizers indicated they hope to repeat the event, next time focusing on business needs in other parts of the city.

This event had so much success that Farris, Baker, and representatives of other universities were interviewed on radio station WVXU.

If you did not get the opportunity to listen in on Wednesday you can follow the link here.